New WiSER Research Platform

Thursday, 19 May, 2022 - 16:00

WiSER will convene a set of intellectual discussions across the year on the theme of decolonization and the question of the future. Conceived under the overall rubric ‘After Decolonization?’, the interventions will assess various aspects of the decolonial challenge to African research in the humanities and social sciences. The epistemological and political dimensions of this process will also be explored. So will be the ways in which the decolonial agenda has at times been co-opted by well endowed Northern institutions. Particular attention will be devoted to the deleterious effects of the unequal knowledge and economic distributional regimes which still structure the relations between Northern and Southern institutions. The series will finally reflect on the conditions and possibilities for the emergence of more inclusive modes of knowledge production and dissemination.

The fuller rationale for this project can be found here. Some of the sessions will take place @WiSER online and others will be in-person in the WiSER seminar room. We will approach these issues in a wide range of registers and will later in the year return to the question of the African university itself.


May 19
4:00pm @WiSER online
Colonial Problems in Surveillance Studies

This panel examines a paradox that lurks in the recent global arguments that surveillance capitalism marks the adoption -- in the Anglophone North especially -- of colonial methods of value expropriation.  The same scholarship systematically ignores the actual conditions of knowledge production and state-building under colonialism, and afterwards, that are producing very powerful (and potentially dangerous) tools of automated assessment and tracking on the African and Asian continents.  Cláudio Muniz Machado Cavalcanti, Georges Eyenga, Zehra Hashmi and Tunde Okunoye will be in discussion with Keith Breckenridge on the geopolitics of surveillance capitalism.

Zoom link :

June 7
1:00 - 2:10pm - WiSER Seminar Room
Literary studies, decolonization and climate-transformed scholarship  

What can literature and the humanities more generally bring to dual debates about decolonization and environmental crisis, via the question of water?  Through the launch of a special journal issue entitled “Reading for Water”, this session will demonstrate how literary studies can be deployed towards a climate-transformed and decolonized scholarship. Contributors Victoria Collis-Buthelezi, Nafisa Essop Sheik, Simon van Schalkwyk and Michael Titlestad will discuss the topic, in conversation with the editors Isabel Hofmeyr, Charne Lavery and Sarah Nuttall, followed by a round table discussion.

WISER Research Theme: